I would like to thank Palawan News for reaching out to me to clarify the story, they only received one side of the story and that is the side they reported on. I asked them to give me time because the incident was traumatizing to say the least, as all those passengers – thankfully all survivors – on the bangka are my friends, some of my closest friends.
I received a distress call from a friend on December 17, Sunday at 5:20PM about the incident and I ran to my boat in a heartbeat, to then which I called Lt. Dela Cruz on his personal mobile at 5:24PM to report the incident as I was on the way to the location. And yes as Lt. Dela Cruz stated, I was hysterical because the conversation on the phone with my friend went “HELP, we cannot find a friend he is still under the boat!!”
I found the capsized bangka incident site at 5:37PM in tears. I assisted all my friends aboard my speedboat one by one all of us in tears while they were terrified, trembling and thanking me. As this was happening the speedboat of Lagen Resort arrived to assist survivors on the opposite side of the bangka. I reported all this to Lt. Dela Cruz by text to which I received, “Yes ma’am salamat po sa assistance.” I then returned the passengers, the survivors safely to Corong-Corong Beach where we stayed together comforting each other that evening.
I was surprised to say the least when we all saw the article the next evening, as I was with my friends, the same surviving passengers from the bangka and my partners in the boat business – we all immediately reacted to the article as did many others.
I do not want acknowledgement and there is no fault in this scenario I just wished to worked together with this government agency for the betterment of the El Nido community, and now having experienced this especially for the safety of citizens in the water. I have the means to do so and I now feel a strong sense of responsibility to assist in any emergency rescue response. I have been contacted by a few agencies and organizations asking me to work closely with them which is an honor. I pray that this does not happen again, but if it does the La Plage Speedboat is ready to be of service together with my partner Alec Stretti and my notable crew Captain Mac Mac Española and Crew Anthony Binungeal who in fact saved the passengers that day.